eportfolios and PLEs and a reverse midas

Q: “Did vendors and institutions kill the initial promise of e-portfolios by trying to turn the concept into a single tool (product) used to measure student achievement?”

Some answers.

Me – couldn’t agree more – except for one thing… ‘eportfolios’ I don’t like. Perhaps by calling stuff eportfolios (as I have done but I don’t think I would anymore) you’re inviting a reverse Midas?

[such a good term, something that you’d get in WWF I reckon ;)]

Yes, there’s plenty of stuff out there on portfolios that’s directly relevant to this (PLE) area, yes it fits nicely with assessment schedules & criteria and yes it’s a good way to breach the fort, but, perhaps when everything turns to sh*t down the line because people expect nothing more than eportfolios you might need to look at how you got there.

8 replies on “eportfolios and PLEs and a reverse midas”

  1. Well said, as usual, James. I like the newly coined wrestling move, and agree that it could be applied to e-portfolios. And yes, if e-portfolios continue to only conjure images of assessment and samples of past work, perhaps it’s time to move on to a new label for ways of using tools to help people learn, keep track of their own work, plan future directions and connect to each other. PLE? Maybe…like others have been saying already, these unnamed “tools” already have a name — the web.

  2. Jeremy and James,

    Aside from “images of assessment,” what are the practical concerns with a “law of accumulation” of tools? Can one system, which may divert teaching and learning resources in one direction, prove comprehensive enough? In some cases, eportfolio might come at the end of a link within another system, as might a student’s weblog (unless the student is using the weblog as a portfolio–but what if they’s using Storyspace?). I see faculty in many cases wrestling with a basic question: what are the consequences of this tool vs another as the ripples move ever-outward.

  3. Grumpy is all good when you nail it…

    I’ve taken your advice and purged the e-portfolio as the unifying concept in the updated version. I expanded it a bit more, too. In this model, an e-portfolio could be simply another tool in the Personal Learning Toolkit (PLT)(TM)(Registered Trademark)(Copyright 2006)(Patent Pending).


  4. Heh, where will PLT ltd. HQ be :)

    Steve, I think we should be wary of this accumulated masterplan!

  5. Maybe I’ll just give it that quick VapourWeb 2.0 polish (Tags! API! Ajax!) and sell to Yahoo! for a bazillion dollars…which would put the headquarters of PLT LTD in Sunnyvale, CA.

    Yeeeeah…I’ll just start packing those bags.

  6. Jeremy, you seem like a nice guy (now). Will your wealth and power change you?

    James, if this masterplan doesn’t include perpetual Windows-like updates and words such as “vista,” I’m for it.

  7. I’ll try to at least be a benevolent dictator — I’ll only require VistaUpdates (TM) to PLT (TM) when there’s a chance to monetize my synergies and protect hard-won marketshare.

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